National Op Shop Week

22 August 2016

National Op Shop week is upon us and here at the Brotherhood we think that is reason to kick up your vintage heels and celebrate!

To enjoy the full experience of op shopping, patience and imagination are essential. New to the op shopping game? Or simply need some ideas on how to score a great bargain?

Check out our tips and tricks on how to get an amazing op shop haul!


Op shopping combines the thrill of discovering a great bargain along with the knowledge that the money spent on your pre-loved little black dress is going towards a worthy cause.

Referred to also as “charity” or “thrift shopping”, the first op-shop was introduced in England in the late 1800’s, though not until the Second World War did the concept of op shopping become widespread.

The opening of the Brotherhood’s first community store in the 1930’s on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, proved a welcome addition to the local community, playing a vital role in assisting the unemployed whilst recycling large quantities of clothing and furniture for people in need.

In more recent times, op shopping has become a treasured hobby among fashion lovers and bargain hunters alike, with weekends spent lost between the aisles, bringing new life to previously loved items. That bright pink polka dot dress your grandmother bought you for Christmas last year? You can bet someone out there is dying to match that with a pair of lime green stockings.

Whilst a great avenue for bargain hunters, the core purpose of op shops as an ‘opportunity’ to assist those in need, is a mission which hasn’t been lost on the community. To this day, the Brotherhood stores stand by this aim, employing a passionate team of staff and over 700 volunteers across 20 community stores, as well as helping job seekers from a variety of backgrounds build their workplace skills and confidence.

Don’t forget to visit one of our Brotherhood of St Laurence Community Stores during Op Shop Week. Happy shopping!

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes